How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

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How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:20 pm

Hi All,

Second year in BigLaw. Long story short, left my first v100 firm because I hated corporate work, so I lateraled less than a year in to go to a lower v100 firm doing litigation.

Still hate it. I think I'm just not cut out for BigLaw. I'm thinking of going small law or even hanging a shingle. My question is how big of a black mark is it to leave 2 firms back to back in less than a year?

Maybe I'll just leave law altogether. BigLaw sucks pretty hard.

Thanks in advance!

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KunAgnis

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby KunAgnis » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:44 pm

It would look like you have trouble committing to a firm. But maybe you should try and analyze the situation a little before you bounce. What is it specifically about these two firms did you not like? It could very well be something that's not unique to Big Law that you didn't like (shitty bosses, screamers, w/e). If that's the case, then perhaps you'd reconsider writing off Big Law altogether.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:43 pm

I am looking to leave my second law firm at the beginning of my 4th year and two interviewers asked something along the lines of "you seem to have relatively short stints, which is somewhat indicative of things not working out, are there any issues". However, I believe I overcame one of them and also have plenty of other interest from other places, though I am not at a top firm and my first move was for relocation purposes.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:58 pm

I’m a 2013 graduate and recently accepted my 5th new job. If you get an interview, they’ve already decided they can live with your job history. As long as you have a good reason for moving (not just that you hate your current job), it will be fine.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:I’m a 2013 graduate and recently accepted my 5th new job. If you get an interview, they’ve already decided they can live with your job history. As long as you have a good reason for moving (not just that you hate your current job), it will be fine.


What were some of your reasons? I feel like that would be hard to explain.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:06 am

I'm a 2013 grad currently on my fifth job. I pretty much play up the need to try new practice areas (boredom with my current area) and also was trying to switch markets, so that was the big selling point (i.e. "I would stay, but we want to leave Major Market X"). Had no issues at all and have been at my current firm for over 1.5 years now. Figure I should stay at least another year before jumping again, hopefully to in house.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2013 grad currently on my fifth job. I pretty much play up the need to try new practice areas (boredom with my current area) and also was trying to switch markets, so that was the big selling point (i.e. "I would stay, but we want to leave Major Market X"). Had no issues at all and have been at my current firm for over 1.5 years now. Figure I should stay at least another year before jumping again, hopefully to in house.


These are all big law firms? You were able to retool your practice area that many times? How did you sell it and how did the firm decide to take you as opposed to someone with a few years in that practice area? I'm a 2nd year trying to switch from lev fin banking/finance to capital markets.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:29 am

KunAgnis wrote:It would look like you have trouble committing to a firm. But maybe you should try and analyze the situation a little before you bounce. What is it specifically about these two firms did you not like? It could very well be something that's not unique to Big Law that you didn't like (shitty bosses, screamers, w/e). If that's the case, then perhaps you'd reconsider writing off Big Law altogether.


Original anon here.

Thanks for this advice. Reasons are as follows: with my first firm, I hated corporate work. I was doing mostly M&A. I had an opportunity to do litigation at another firm, so I left.

With my current firm, I'm at a satellite of a large firm, and primarily work with one partner. We...well, we don't really get along. The partner is mostly absent and I feel like I'm not getting much training/mentorship, and I'm constantly being thrown under the bus. It makes for a miserable working environment, though I like litigation work much more than corporate.

I'm thinking of switching to plaintiffs side, which might make the explanation more palatable for an employer.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Hopefullitassociate » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:34 am

If you can, I would at the very least try to stick it out for a year. You'll have a year's worth of relevant experience (the minimum that most firms will want in a lateral) and it will seem less like the problem is you. It sounds like you have very legitimate reasons for switching (I myself switched firms after a little over a year to move from corporate to litigation), but I think firms will approach you with a lot less skepticism if you can show that you can last at least one year at a firm. It sounds like you're in a sucky office situation, but grind it out for the rest of the year.

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nealric

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:37 pm

I'd advise sticking it out for another year and a half and then look to go to a smaller firm. You can job hop once, but twice in a two year period will raise red flags. If you have a compelling story that's one thing, but you won't have a compelling story for your second hop. "I didn't like it" is not a compelling story, and in fact confirms the likely fears of an employer about hiring you- that you can't be relied on to stick around.

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi All,

Second year in BigLaw. Long story short, left my first v100 firm because I hated corporate work, so I lateraled less than a year in to go to a lower v100 firm doing litigation.

Still hate it. I think I'm just not cut out for BigLaw. I'm thinking of going small law or even hanging a shingle. My question is how big of a black mark is it to leave 2 firms back to back in less than a year?

Maybe I'll just leave law altogether. BigLaw sucks pretty hard.

Thanks in advance!


Corporate work and/or full on litigation sucks pretty hard wherever you go. Going small law does not change the fact that there will be never ending deadlines to meet, unreasonable ones if you are dealing with an opponent who understands how to stack piles of discovery requests strategically. Small law just has fewer resources to help you get by, for the most part.

Either find a firm with more lax billing requirements, go transactional or in-house, or strike out on your own if you want more flexibility/predictability.

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RedGiant

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Re: How bad is it to leave 2 BigLaw firms within 1 year each?

Postby RedGiant » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:38 pm

I'd also add--no firm is super fun when you're the junior. Ever. Sometimes you have to gut it out a little bit to get to the less scut-worky, work. Bear in mind that sometimes you have to pay your dues. If you don't like the partner you work with, try to get a little more work from others and it is worth staying just a little longer to find out if you can't get "stuck" on a case from another office that takes more of your billables. GL!



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